to be even tougher than a lot of us expected. republicans grilled hagel, raising questions about his past statements, his positions, his votes, especially when it comes to israel and iran. at times, hagel struggled to answer. other times, he gave answers he later during the same hearing had to clarify. for the fallout, let's go to our chief white house correspondent, jessica yellin, it was pretty bruising, but i wonder if it will have a huge result on the outlook, but give us a little background. >> reporter: well, wolf, chuck hagel as you say was battered and bruised but is still standing after what was widely considered an underwhelming performance at the hearing. chuck hagel sat alone at the table, fielding sometimes hostile and tense questions from the colleagues, including one-time senator john mccain. >> that is a direct question, i want a direct answer. >> i'm not going to give you a yes or no answer. >> will the record show -- >> reporter: that exchange centered on hagel's past opposition to the iraq surge, a surge that senator john mccain championed. he looked at past statements.